Pietro Chiesa, new Art Director
In 1933 a department specializing in modern furnishings was created, under the name of FontanaArte. Its direction was initially entrusted to Ponti and soon afterwards, at Ponti's suggestion, passed to Pietro Chiesa, who led it to the top of international success, until his premature death in 1948. The most varied articles were created: furniture, plates, boxes, portrait holders, frames, mirrors, sculptures, stained-glass windows, often designed by the most famous artists. But it was above all in the lighting that FontanaArte proved to be extraordinarily avant-garde, with models of pure rationalism, masterfully executed making the most of all the crystal manifacturings that were most congenial to it.
Ponti and Chiesa designs for FontanaArte steal the show at the Triennale
FontanaArte’s first Triennale showcased a series of Ponti and Chiesa designs, and it was the latter who really challenged traditional visual benchmarks, producing a series of modular table lamps whose opal glass tubes were interwoven with a metal structure. Milan was on the fast track to becoming a design capital and the city’s ties with FontanaArte thrived as the company stepped into the shoes of ambassador for inspired innovation.